Wednesday, November 30

GSAAS to protest if authorities fail to address 14 demands

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Athletes of The Gambia Swimming Association and Aquatic Sports (GSAAS) have threatened to embark on a protest if the relevant authorities fail to address their 14 point demands, The Point has been reliably informed.
Part of their demand is for the GSAAS to have ‘proper swimming pool for athletes to train, consideration of athlete’s health/ welfare, proper and standard swimming gears for athletes, trials before a competition, free and fair selection of athletes for competition, physio /medic for athletes and allowance for athletes among others.

A source who spoke to The Point anonymously, said: “I can confirm to you that there is anger within the Gambia Swimming Association and Aquatic Sports. We are not happy with the way things are going on at The Gambia Swimming Association (GSA),” the source added.

Meanwhile, our reporter has also been reliably informed that members of the GSAAS in protest yesterday refused to take part in the training exercise which was held at SBEC.

A letter, obtained by The Point dated 26 September 2022 and signed by Omar Darboe and addressed to the executive director of the National Sport Council states: “I write on behalf of all the athletes of the Gambia Swimming Association and Aquatic Sports, to convey our complains, disappointments, distrust and concerns about the executive members of the association. Again, we also want to submit our demands as athletes for the betterment of this association and the future of aspiring swimmers.”

The GSAAS alleged that two of their members were removed from their WhatsApp group by the GSA vice president and its secretary general for just merely asking some genuine questions.

“I am definitely not happy with the way the association is operating. We are not happy with the way the recently concluded 15th Cana Senior African Championship in Tunisia and also the Islamic Championship games that took place in Turkey were held. We are not happy with the behaviour of the coach and secretary general. I believe the wellbeing of athletes should be prioritised especially when it comes to such events,” Omar Darboe, the athletic representative said.

Darboe added that he has never been informed about his election as the representative of the athletes in the GSA, adding: “I was also not aware of being an executive member of the GSA. In fact, I got to know about the election into the GSA through The Point newspaper publication. Again, since my election as the athletic representative, I am not aware of any meeting being organised by the GSA Executive.”

In a meeting held at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau, Darboe said, the GSAAS athletes unanimously expressed their dissatisfaction, disappointments, concerns and also made demands to the Gambia Swimming Association for redress.

Among the demands are membership form and a card, constitution of the Gambia Swimming Association, review of the constitution if applicable, respect for athletes from the executive members and coaches, transparency (selection, financial statements, reports), monthly general meetings and review and association’s calendar (starting with swimming events both national and international).

“All we are asking for is to have a meeting with the executive members of the GSA with a view to discussing our demands in order to come up with consensus. We believe that this association is not only representing clubs, but The Gambia as a nation.”

“If these injustices continue, we will be forced to leave and press charges against the injustice of the association,” they said in the letter they addressed to the executive director of the National Sport Council.

The executive members of the GSA and the National Sport Council couldn’t be reached for comments at the time of going to press.